The William Stanley Pub South Norwood - Update

I have posted in the past about the William Stanley pub in South Norwood - the area of South-East London where Arthur Conan Doyle lived between 1891 and 1894.

To recap for the benefit of those who've not read my previous posts; the pub was, for some years, a J D Wetherspoon pub and, during my residency in the area, I lobbied them to erect some displays to remark upon the Sherlockian and Doylean links. In late 2009 they erected about six separate pictures which took the form of Doyle family photographs taken in the area and Sidney Paget illustrations (not originals obviously).

Despite errors they made due to relying on ACD's autobiography (and ignoring my corrections) I was pleased that ACD was being marked in the area beyond one road name, a plaque, a block of flats (called Baskerville Court) and a special needs school called The Priory School - most of which probably meant little to the average local resident.

Some years after I left the area I learnt the pub was being sold. It has recently been reopened under the name The Shelverdine Goathouse. The renaming is disappointing as William Stanley was a great local role model in the 19th century and, I believe, may have been the inspiration for the scientific side of Professor Moriarty. You can watch my short documentary on that subject and see if you agree.

I tried, on two occasions, to contact the new owners to see if they planned to retain the displays I fought hard to get erected. They never responded. Now, an article from the local Croydon Advertiser makes clear that they have disposed of the displays.

(c) Croydon Advertiser
The full article (with additional photographs) can be seen here.

Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here



  1. That's a shame, Alistair, that all your hard work has met a sad end. Strange that the new owners thought that a goathouse had a greater historical connection to the area than either William Stanley or Arthur Conan Doyle.

  2. I can only echo Bill's comment! It would be so satisfying if this incarnation of the pub failed, but that may take time. A (fairly) historic pub in my home town only recently reverted to its original name of The Golden Fleece after more than two decades as "The Rat and Parrot"...


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